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Where do the studios stand on HDMI issues?


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29 replies to this topic

#1 of 30 Ronald Epstein

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Posted June 16 2006 - 05:42 AM

I gotta tell you, though I have been convincing myself to wait
another 6-9 months for the second generation HD players, I have
had my moments of temptation to buy now.

One of the biggest issues I have is that I have a 5-year-old
Toshiba HD rear projection with no HDMI input.

I always thought that you needed HDMI to properly display 1080i.
Silly me, I just found out today that component will display the same
resolution just as well as the digital connection. I didn't know -- HDMI
is a very new to someone like me and I figured the digital connection
had to be superior to component for display purposes. Apparently,
it isn't.

That's one big hurdle out of the way.

My question is, how much longer are the studios going to allow
HD digital pass-thru on component?

I really have no need to upgrade my TV. I'm very happy with my
Toshiba which still displays HD beautifully. If I could be assured
that I could carry these new formats thru component inputs for
at least the next 2-3 years I would feel much better about jumping
into this format sooner.

Certainly, I am sure some of you will suggest why not enjoy the
component capability now. My answer to that is, if I know that
I am going to need HDMI in the very near future, I'd rather buy
the new TV and 2 HD players for a package price. Better to do it
all at once.

Ronald J Epstein
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#2 of 30 Sean Bryan

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Posted June 16 2006 - 06:06 AM

Ron,

As of now, no HD DVDs or BDs are using the ICT (Image Constraint Token). You can enjoy HD DVD or BD at full 1080i over component.

I guess it's not surprising that you didn't know this because even the thread here in the HD software forum discussing this has a title that, while accurate, can give the wrong impression: It's Official: HD DVD and Blu-ray Can Limit High Resolution To HDMI Only At a glance, you might get the impression that this is being done. In reality, it is not and it may not be done for 4-6 years.

Some studios have publically stated that they weren't planing on using it (unless piracy becomes a problem). Some have been stronger proponents of it. But I believe that all are coming to the realization that it would be absolutely idiotic to use this any time in the next few years.

In truth, no one really knows if this might rear its ugly head tomorrow. It could. But it just doesn't seem like it should be an issue for several years. The reality is that both of these formats aren't likely to be anything more than niche formats for quite a while. If they use this nonsense before one (or both) become established, then they are even less likely to survive.

For what it is worth, Sony's PlayStation3 will have two versions ($500 and $600 models). The $500 model does not have an HDMI output. It is component only. So if Sony has any hope that this BD player/game consul is going to help the BD format take off, then they must not think that HDMI will be necessary for at least several years (or they are total morons).

Here is an article that talks about an "unofficial behind the scenes agreement" between "Hollywood" and the consumer electronics industry not to use ICT until 2010, or possibly even 2012.

http://arstechnica.c...60521-6880.html

While this is nothing official, it certainly has made many breathe a little easier.
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#3 of 30 Mark Zimmer

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Posted June 16 2006 - 06:07 AM

Ron, I'm in the same boat you are (if I remember rightly, you have the same model set I have). The HD-A1 produces a great picture on it via component. Word is that the ICT isn't going to be implemented on either format until probably 2010, which may be about the time I'm in the market for a new set. Since the format is targeting early adopters, who are likely also early HDTV adopters, it seems to me that we have a lot of these non-HDMI sets. I would expect loud howls of anger that would make the DIVX wars look civilized if the studios were to implement ICT any time soon---perhaps any time at all.

#4 of 30 Larry Sutliff

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Posted June 16 2006 - 06:42 AM

The first format that implements ICT will lose the war. So I don't think we'll be seeing this "feature" for awhile.

#5 of 30 Sean Bryan

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Posted June 16 2006 - 07:13 AM

Yes, but to be accurate it is not a format decision. Neither "format" decides whether or not it is used.

It is in the specs of both and it is up to the individual studios as to whether or not they use it on their individual releases.

If, for example, Warner Brothers decides to use it, they'll likely use it on both HD DVD and BD. Unless there was a situation where they publicly say the are "neutral" and supporting both but they really favor one format over the other. Then they may use ICT on the format they don't like and not use it on their preferred format to help one format and hurt the other.

In a situation like that, yes it would likely affect which format wins (but then of course you could have other studios who have the opposite preference doing the same type of thing...then it would be a big mess). I'm hoping this won't be the case, and I think it is more likely it just won't be used at all for several years.
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#6 of 30 Larry Sutliff

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Posted June 16 2006 - 07:53 AM

Quote:
Yes, but to be accurate it is not a format decision. Neither "format" decides whether or not it is used.

I realized this after I posted so I'll revise my statement to say "whichever studio releases an ICT encoded disc first will kill the format that they release it to", or something to that effect. Unless, of course, the title is released to both formats with the flag.

#7 of 30 Ronald Epstein

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Posted June 16 2006 - 08:13 AM

WoW!

This is very encouraging news.

I was actually staying completely away from this format
because I thought in addition to having to buy 2
HD players, I would have to upgrade my TV just to enjoy
them in 1080i resolution.

Now that I know that component will produce the same results
and that the studios are probably not going to implement the
ICT coding for the next few years, perhaps I can upgrade now.

Ronald J Epstein
Home Theater Forum co-owner

 

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#8 of 30 Ronald Epstein

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Posted June 16 2006 - 08:20 AM

Quote:
Ron, I'm in the same boat you are (if I remember rightly, you have the same model set I have).

Mark, I have the Toshiba 57HX81.

So, you think HD DVD looks really good on this set?

Does the HD-A1 upconvert standard DVDs? How do the
upconverted images look? I ask this because I'm told this
Toshiba model has a problem with upconverting.

Ronald J Epstein
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#9 of 30 Walter Kittel

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Posted June 16 2006 - 08:58 AM

If macrovision is present on the disc ( as per a post over at AVS ) then the Toshiba HD-A1 will not upconvert SD DVD to 1080i via component. Upscaling of protected content for SD DVD is only available via HDMI.

I've seen a few discs upconverted on my system and was quite pleased with the image. I don't own an Oppo so I can't really compare it to one of the more popular upscaling (via DVI) players.

The only image issue that I am aware of with regards to the Toshiba player is its poor performance at 720. The first evening with my HD-A1 I had inadvertently switched to 720 and it was immediately noticeable. Switching back to 1080 rectified the problem.

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#10 of 30 Neil Joseph

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Posted June 16 2006 - 10:23 AM

I was keeping away for the same reason until I found out as well. Chances are they will avoid the constraint flag on all dvd's for some time to come which will give me a few years on my current non-HDMI PJ. Still though, I have major quesitons regarding the audio portion of hd-dvd and blueray, in particular the pcm5.1 stated on blueray and dd true hd. So dd true hd cannot be taken advantage on any current hardware??? Is the limiting factor the first gen hdef players or the receivers of today, and can the 6 channel analogue audio inputs on today's receivers take advantage of these new dvd audio formats.

answers please!!!
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#11 of 30 Dave H

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Posted June 16 2006 - 10:52 AM

Ron,

Upconverting is of no benefit for CRTs really....unless you want to make those horizontal scanlines invisible. I have a Sony 57" CRT RPTV myself.

However, the Toshiba is still very good with 480p component.

What kind of player are you currently using?

#12 of 30 Larry Sutliff

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Posted June 16 2006 - 11:56 AM

Quote:
Upconverting is of no benefit for CRTs really..

Dave,
On my Panny CRT at least, upconverting definitely yields a better picture than 480p. But it could just be an issue with my particular television, as 480p always has an issue with convergence on the right edges, but these problems disappear on 1080i.

#13 of 30 Dave H

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Posted June 16 2006 - 12:50 PM

Hi Larry,

Have you tried doing a full manual convergence at 480p?

My Sony has HDMI and I actually upscale using a Sony 3100ES right now. I do it because I hate seeing scanlines which are visible sometimes watching 480i/p material even from 10-11 feet away...the image is more filmlike without them. However, the image is a bit sharper without upscaling. Kind of a trade-off for me.

By the way, what player are you using? I'm always curious what the "few of us left" CRT RPTV owners are using these days. Posted Image

#14 of 30 Sean Bryan

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Posted June 16 2006 - 01:25 PM

Quote:
Does the HD-A1 upconvert standard DVDs? How do the
upconverted images look? I ask this because I'm told this
Toshiba model has a problem with upconverting.

Ron, the problem the Toshiba has is scaling HD DVDs to 720p. If someone has a 720p monitor and they set the output resolution to 720p they are going to get a soft image that is disappointing. If they keep the output resolution at 1080i, it will look great on their 720p display.

In general everything I've read indicates that the upconversion of SD-DVDs (to 1080i) by the Toshiba is excellent. I haven't tried it myself because my monitor is component only.

However, as I understand it, if you made a "back-up" copy of a DVD, this copy can be upconverted over component (because the macrovision is removed?). That's just FYI. I was hesitant to even mention that because of the fourm's policy about that stuff. So PLEASE edit out this paragraph it you find that it is inappropriate. But it does seem like relevant info for those who are hoping to upconvert over component but cannot due to this odd restriction with upconverting players.
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#15 of 30 Ronald Epstein

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Posted June 16 2006 - 07:56 PM

Sean,

The information is great! Many thanks!

Ronald J Epstein
Home Theater Forum co-owner

 

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#16 of 30 Larry Sutliff

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Posted June 17 2006 - 04:12 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave H
Hi Larry,

Have you tried doing a full manual convergence at 480p?

My Sony has HDMI and I actually upscale using a Sony 3100ES right now. I do it because I hate seeing scanlines which are visible sometimes watching 480i/p material even from 10-11 feet away...the image is more filmlike without them. However, the image is a bit sharper without upscaling. Kind of a trade-off for me.

By the way, what player are you using? I'm always curious what the "few of us left" CRT RPTV owners are using these days. Posted Image

Dave,
I've only done the 9 point convergence provided by Panasonic. The only way to do full convergence is by going through the service menu, and I had a bad experience with that once, so I'm reluctant to do it again. I should probably get an ISF calibration done, though 1080i looks fine, and that is what I watch most often now anyway.

I'm currently using both the Toshiba HD DVD player and the Zenith DVB-318 as upconverting players. I've had the Panny RP-82(which was the nicest 480p I've ever seen), the Oppo and the Denon 1920 in my system as well, both with the same result: excellent 1080i upconversion versus just okay 48oi/480p picture. The Oppo had some judder issues with my television, so I sold it on eBay. I gave my parents the Denon.

#17 of 30 Dave H

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Posted June 18 2006 - 11:38 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Sutliff
Dave,
I've only done the 9 point convergence provided by Panasonic. The only way to do full convergence is by going through the service menu, and I had a bad experience with that once, so I'm reluctant to do it again. I should probably get an ISF calibration done, though 1080i looks fine, and that is what I watch most often now anyway.

I'm currently using both the Toshiba HD DVD player and the Zenith DVB-318 as upconverting players. I've had the Panny RP-82(which was the nicest 480p I've ever seen), the Oppo and the Denon 1920 in my system as well, both with the same result: excellent 1080i upconversion versus just okay 48oi/480p picture. The Oppo had some judder issues with my television, so I sold it on eBay. I gave my parents the Denon.

Larry,

If you get your set ISF'd (I strongly recommend it), be sure to have the tech show you how to do a full convergence in the service menu...makes all the difference.

I've tried and demo'd a number of players. The best 480p component image I've ever seen was the Denon 3910 which I demo'd. It is very sharp and detailed. I can't justify spending the money on it as I'll be jumping into HD again within 6-12 months most likely (unless I found a used one at a great price). I'm currently using the Sony 3100ES....very good player and probably a slight improvement over the Panasonic XP-30/RP-82. I too saw some juddering with the Oppo and experienced a picture too soft with it.

#18 of 30 JediFonger

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Posted June 18 2006 - 03:59 PM

does westinghouse's "1080p" displays 37" and 42" accept 1080p via HDMI? does anyone know for sure? if so, people who own that can accept 1080p signals via either HD-DVD or BluRay format.

#19 of 30 Sam Davatchi

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Posted June 23 2006 - 03:58 AM

I have to tell you my experience with HDMI. I own a 42" Hitachi Plasma with a native resolution of 1024x1024 and until very recently hadn't a clue what it is capable of!

I have a Pioneer DVD player connected through the component to my TV. Recently I was able to see and compare the same DVDs though the HDMI connection on my display. They are not upconverted but at the same 480p resolution.

Anyway the difference is like night and day! I had no idea! The same movies at the same resolution (480p) look so much better (color wise) than through a non-digital mean. The most impressive part is the black levels. Black look black and all the colors look alive. T2 is the perfect test.

So basically being able to watch HD material through component is not an advantage for me and personally I don't care if the studios lock the component output. Because component is no good! I strongly encourage anyone who has not experienced this, to watch their material through HDMI/DVI only.

#20 of 30 RobertR

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Posted June 23 2006 - 04:12 AM

Quote:
component is no good!
I completely disagree with you, Sam. I’ve seen way too many top notch (as in WORLD CLASS) home theater setups with analog connections showing 1080p to say that component is “no good”. Quite the contrary, anyone who has seen such an ANALOG setup drools at the thought of having picture quality that good in his home. On my own 65" Mitsubishi, I’ve compared HD using analog and HDMI connections and I frankly see essentially no difference.

HDMI has advantages, but it is not inherently much better than component.


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